Rubber-toughening of dimethacrylate dental composite resin

Valerie A. Lee, H. Lee Cardenas, H. Ralph Rawls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Dimethacrylate dental composite resins exhibit inherently low toughness. Toughening of these materials may reduce the incidence of marginal and bulk fracture of composite restorations. Objective: To determine if dimethacrylate dental restorative materials can be rubber-toughened, and if so, to identify a possible mechanism. Methods: A filler composed of aggregates of polybutadiene/ silica as well as irregularly-shaped silica slabs was produced by mixing silica with polybutadiene in dichloromethane. The dried filler was subsequently ground and sieved to <25μm. Polybutadiene/ silica ratios were varied from 0:1 (control) to 0.5:1. EDAX analysis verified the composition of the complex filler. Filler was added to a bis-GMA/bis-EMA/TEGDMA resin system and fractured in three-point bend test mode at a crosshead speed of 1 mm/min. In addition, 1 bar was fractured at a crosshead speed of 0.001 mm/min to identify a possible mechanism for toughening. Results: In specimens fractured at 1 mm/min, flexural modulus is increased or maintained and flexural strength and energy to break increase as the amount of polybutadiene in the aggregates increases. Cavitation of highrubber-containing aggregates is demonstrated. In the one specimen fractured at 0.001 mm/min, a marked increase in size of high-rubber-containing aggregates along with severe shear damage in the surrounding matrix is shown, suggesting that cavitation with subsequent absorption of energy during shear yielding is the likely mechanism behind the increase in energy to break in bars fractured at 1 mm/min. Significance: These results indicate that dimethacrylate dental composite materials can be rubber toughened, which may potentially reduce marginal and bulk fractures of composite restorations, and consequently extend their service lifetime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Dental/craniofacial material
  • Failure analysis
  • Fracture toughness
  • Microspheres
  • Polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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